We are getting quite accustomed to the 3 degree temperature at Forest School but as always, no complaints from the Forest Schoolers and nothing that a warming hot chocolate and a fire couldn’t sort out.
Stealth was our warm up game before learning about how to make a fire that we can cook on. Everyone played fairly and there was some great teamwork during stealth. We went into the woodland to collect ‘hanging deadwood’ and proceeded to make our piles of firewood separated into 3 sizes – matchsticks, pencils and chunky monkeys. With everyone helping and communicating well, we had piles ready to light in no time. Then we set the fire circle up ensuring all safety equipment was present and correct – including a fire water bucket (for extinguishing the fire if needed and incase of any burns) and fireproof gloves. We then learnt the respect position, which enables us to get away safely and quickly from the fire, should we need to. Lose hair was tied back or put into hats and we were ready to go. The fire was then lit.
Activities after this included fire lighting using the steels, the mud slide (look at the photos!), strap line, hammocks, craft and the muddy kitchen. Lots of people managed to light the cotton wool – for many it was their first time. It was tricky as the previous group, enjoyed fire lighting so much, that the fire steels are quite worn down! But spirits were high and some became experts and then shared their expertise.
Next week, the Forest Schoolers asked for more fire lighting – this will be the children lighting and maintaining the fire independently, learning some knots because den building was requested, as well as some of the weekly favourites!